TTC management unveiled its Capital Budget and 10-year forecast on January 12 with a presentation to the Commission, and followed up with a presentation at the City’s Budget Committee on January 14.
Online information about the budget is incomplete. More troubling, however, the “Blue Books” which contain the details of all capital projects have not yet even been issued to members of the Commission, let alone Councillors or, it would appear, the City’s Budget Analyst who is supposed to digest all of this on Council’s behalf. Full consideration of the TTC budgets was held over to January 20 by the Budget Committee to await the Analyst’s Notes.
Presentation to City Budget Committee (See Pages 49-70)
Meanwhile, the TTC presented a budget with previously unknown major capital projects and additions to existing ones, but with little explanation of why they are here.
Oddly enough, the City’s Executive Committee only yesterday was in turmoil over unexpected increases in the cost of hosting the Pan Am Games due to unplanned costs for soil remediation and the fact that the project estimate was in 2008 dollars.
The TTC would do well to understand that surprises in budgeting will not be warmly greeted by the City, and moreover that they can have a compounding effect of squeezing available funding for other projects.
In this article, I will give an overview of major points in the budget along with specific comments on a few major issues. When the “Blue Books” become available (expected later this week) and I get a chance to review the full budget, I will write on major topics such as subway fleet planning and system expansion in detail.